After a period of self destruction and self neglect, also shaken by the death of a close friend, I decide to clean up my act and get serious about life once again. At the start of 1998 an oppurtunity manifested itself which would pull my life course off on a strange trajectory for a while. I spent a while in the role of musician, playing electric guitar in a psychedelic trance dance act, touring and giving performances in various parts of the World. It was a musical interlude that became part of the wider mystical odyssey. During and around this time I had three powerful mystical experiences which would reveal to me the nature of God and provide for me answers to questions that I had been on my mind a while.
Starting in the beginning of 1998 I rather suddenly found myself working as a live musician and playing guitar in shows around various parts of the world. I was asked to accompany the electronic dance act Cosmosis on a world tour to help promote their new album. In retrospect the whole thing was a perfect setup and I believe it was all set up in order that I may have several key mystical experiences. I got the job, because the guy behind the act Cosmosis saw me playing my guitar at a party and thought it would be good to have me on stage with him. Prior to all this I would quite often take my guitar to play at various social gatherings and party events. I did this because I was asked but also because it meant I could get into places for free also it was a great way to meet people. Anyway, quite by chance I happened to playing in the right place at the right time.
This rather sudden detour on my path was certainly something a little different from my existence at the time. Having experienced something of a quite introverted period in life, I then found myself having to play a very extroverted role. Performing in live shows, travelling and meeting people really brought me back into the world. It helped to build up my confidence as people were always keen to talk to you and the feedback from the audience was always positive.
Also as a result of this new trajectory I was given the opportunity to talk to a lot of different kinds of people about my mystic and spiritual insights. The reaction to my philosophical rantings wasn’t always positive but I didn’t really care, I was obessed. My head was rather filled with mystical and philosophical thoughts, so whenever I had a conversation with anybody the subject matter would very inevitably turn to my obsession. However some of the people whom I spoke to during my travels were very receptive and encouraging, this helped to motivate me even further. I had recovered a lot from my period of self destruction and started to feel my strength and confidence returning.
Playing guitar with the psychedelic trance outfit Cosmosis was initially very exciting and satisfying. It gave me a chance to travel and meet lots of people. Although on reflection most of what I saw was airports, hotel bedrooms, guest rooms and psychedelic trance parties. All of these are pretty much the same where ever you go. Also most of the people I met were total drug heads, and it was a scene and mindset that I'd already left behind. However all the same I did have a good time and I did enjoy all the social interaction. Also the repeated experience of stepping onto a stage in front of lots of people and performing would give me a head start when I would take up public speaking a few years later.
By some interesting coincidence I would meet up with the two other members of the Band that I formed as a teenager, whilst on tour with Cosmosis in two widely separated places in the world. One ex band member who played drums in my band was then working for a human rights organization in Moscow, Russia. The other who played Bass guitar was working as a journalist in Sydney, Australia. And they both came to the respective concerts I played at these places as well. It seemed very synchronous and fateful at the time. My band I’d formed as a teenager was a failure. Somehow seeing my old friends provided a sense of continuity but also one of closure. It closed that long phase in my life, when in the back of my mind I associated the idea of performing in front of a load people with rejection and ridicule. This was one of several fruitful happenings and revelations that occurred during my musical odyssey. Later that year I experience two powerful mystical experiences which in retrospect seem like the reason why the hand of providence had led me along this musical detour.
The first one occurred in Byron Bay, Australia and the second in Zurich, Switzerland. In the first experience I was given a radical view of the nature of time and saw powerful images of distant ancestors and previous lives. In the second experience I was given a vision of the cosmic tree. I saw all existence and also myself as a part of a single all encompassing Cosmic tree. I’ll give a more detailed account of these two episodes together with the events and circumstances surrounding them a little later.
I’d like to mention at this point that all through this period in my life, the idea everyone is God and by the same token that this is my own ultimate and real identity, was something that was constantly on my mind. About a year previously, in early 1997, I had found myself in an extended borderline mystical state which lasted several months. During that period the notion of ones inherent divinity was something close at hand and invaded my day to day existence, even if at the time I couldn’t fully understand it. During the rest of that previous year I had spent every spare moment of time studying up on anything that might help me to understand this divine mystery; that while I was a person and mortal human-being somehow simultaneously, in my eternal and infinite self, I was also God. So I spent a lot reading up on the mystical and religious literature, but also studying ideas from science and philosophy that might help me to grasp this sacred truth with my rational mind. This pattern of behaviour had molded and shaped my personality and mindset greatly. I really thought about these sorts of things practically all the time to the exclusion of much else.
So the upshot of this was that even though I was doing a lot of work as a musician playing guitar all over the place and leading a social and extroverted lifestyle, at the same time my head was far off some place else. I did play and practice my guitar a lot at this time but my focus was really on other things, my real devotion was to the sacred and the transcendent. Everything was really a backdrop for the real action which was going on in my mind. I was getting myself ready to somehow explain to the world at large this most amazing, astounding and fabulous of all truths, that a persons real identity is God.
Reflections on the nature of the World Psychedelic Trance scene in some woodland near Melbourne
In the course of my travels I found myself in Melbourne Australia. The band Cosmosis was scheduled to do a performance at a party to be held miles out in a national park which really did seem like the middle of nowhere. It was in the middle of an endless expanse of eucalyptus forest and I remember that the drive there was long and twisty. It seemed far away from civilization. Anyway a psychedelic trance party was organized at this location and the band I was touring with would play there as the main attraction.
During the party familiar faces seemed to pop out from nowhere and all over the place. I encountered many people from the very international psychedelic trance scene that I had met at trance parties in the UK. It was great to see them again. This particular gig in Melbourne was attended by many familiar faces.
For the first time I got a real sense that this small but internationally scattered sub-culture, called psychedelic trance, was really like some kind of family or secret society. A society bonded together by a shared interest in a certain type of music, a passion for travelling, a certain constellation of shared beliefs and also a fondness for taking powerful psychedelic drugs. I had first encountered this scene back in London during a particularly decadent and hedonistic phase that lasted a couple of years. Back then I would often go out clubbing and hang out at psychedelic trance parties. Anyway, this lifestyle of frequently going to clubs exposed me to the kind of people I was encountering a lot during my time in Australia, whilst playing my guitar at psychedelic trance parties or ‘doof parties’ as they’re known out there. Collectively the people in question may be called the International Psychedelic Traveller Community. They came from many countries and from all backgrounds, although people from the more industrialized countries and also the middle classes were disproportionately represented. Their lives were characterized by a tendency to travel a lot, often to back packer destinations and in particular to places like India and Thailand.
The kind of music produced by the band I was working with was for a time, in the mid nineties, labelled Goa trance after the former Portuguese colony in India. This was because during about this time and before, the place Goa was an important centre for the world psychedelic scene and attracted many free spirited people from all over. Just the kind of people who would gravitate towards taking psychedelic drugs and going to trance parties. Also a lot of psychedelic trance dance music was produced by people with a strong affinity for Goa, so during the mid 90s the expressions Goa Trance and psychedelic trance were interchangeable. In recent history there has always been a connection between psychedelia and India. The late 60s and early 70s witnessed an explosion of interest in Eastern mysticism which was to a very large degree precipitated by the relatively large scale use of the drug LSD. So many people in the West started to explore Hinduism, the religion of India. During that period India became a premiere hippy mecca and many young people from the industrialized countries made their way there on journeys of self discovery or else merely in order to take more drugs. Anyway, it seemed like there was a resurgence of interest in India during the mid 90s when I was exploring the psychedelic counter culture in London. As a result of this I would often meet a lot of Western people with a great affinity for India while I was going through my druggy clubbing phase. This probably helped to form in me an initial interest in Indian philosophy and religion. It certainly exposed me to ideas which helped to shape my outlook and encourage certain mystical tendencies that I already had.
In a not so subtle way my life had become entangled with the international psychedelic trance scene and I can see now that this relationship has been a factor in my personal evolution. I’m still in the process of understanding what is the role of this unique and global sub-culture in the wider scheme of things. This strange family and secret society may, I speculate, have some role to play in the proper unfolding of world events leading towards the fulfullment of the prophecies contained in the World’s religions. And maybe not. Another feature of the scene apart from the decadence is the dysfunctionality and unrealized potential of the people who spend too much time involved with psychedelic drugs.
I’m quite fascinated by the fact of the popularity of the psychedelic trance among Israeli youth. I would encounter many young Israelis in my travels and hear their tales. It seems a common rite of passage for young Israelis to do their national service, then afterwards go to India, take loads of psychedelic drugs and then return home somewhat transformed and given new ideas. I keep imagining the psychedelic trance scene in Israel as being a recapitulation of the Manna cult, a resurgent Kabbalah and just maybe some sort of spiritual vanguard. Then again this may all just be wishful thinking.
Anyway, it was during this period of my life in the role of travelling guitar man that I got the chance to see and get to know better this world psychedelic scene. It was a funny position to be in as I was, in a sense, totally on the inside of the scene, but at the same time I was also something of an outsider. Though I had and still have a lot of liking and affinity with a lot of the people who are a part of the world psychedelic community, I can also see the inherent limitations of using psychedelic drugs as a means to facilitate mystic states. It was a funny time of my life and a strange irony. A year previously this would have seemed an ideal situation. I was totally immersed in the land of psychedelia and had the opportunity through my work as a musician to go to psychedelic parties all over the World. However in my mind I had already left the land of the lotus eaters. Throughout all this period it really felt as if I was only really passing through. However this strange interlude provided the perfect backdrop for my continuing mystical and philosophical ruminations, that would occupy my mind a lot of the time. Also during time I would experience several powerful mystical experiences the first of which occurred a few weeks after my brief time spent in Melbourne. We continued our tour of Australia and ended up in a place called Byron bay.
The Byron Bay vision which revealed insights into the nature of time, causality and purpose.
So I was in Australia on tour with the band and we were coming towards the end of our time there. We had one more date to play in the country and it was to be in a coastal town called Byron bay. I remember that I was feeling quite exhausted by the tour. Before coming to Byron bay I had contracted a strange lung infection which caused me to cough a lot and drained my energy. Also the strains of being on the road had caused my relationship with my travelling companions to deteriorate. These were the circumstances that I found myself in as we made the drive from Sydney to Byron Bay. As we were nearing the town our driver and guide was telling us something about the place. I discovered that Byron bay was the most Easterly point on the land mass of Australia. Also I found out that whales would converge upon the waters around the town during their breeding season. Our driver also mentioned strange energies associated with the place thought to be able to affect peoples states of mind and even cause them to go a bit insane. He said that certain sensitive types couldn’t stand this energy and had to live in the hills a few miles away from this energetic epicentre. I remember thinking to myself what a load of nonsense.
Byron bay is an extremely beautiful part of the world with some great countryside and many stunning beaches. The town itself is rather small and is rather characterized by the strong new age and hippy presence. It was quite a paradise but at the same time a little dull. I soon became quite bored of my surroundings and settled into a routine of going off by myself in order to read and think.
The time came when I had to do the performance with the band. The gig was held in the most unusual of places. We were to play at a psychedelic trance party that was to be held in a warehouse that used to be a whaling processing station. That is a place where the bodies of large whales were turned into heating oil, whale meat and various other industrial raw materials. I remember that the party wasn’t very well attended with perhaps no more than a few hundred people. The crowd were mainly young with a lot of teenagers but I distinctly remember that a lot of the people present didn’t seem all that happy. I also remember that the whole place smelled strange and I couldn’t help thinking about all those slaughtered whales. At some point that evening I made the connection. I realized that if the whales came from all around the world’s oceans to the waters just off Byron bay to breed then this would have been a convenient place for the whaling industry to have set up a base. It was a horrible thought the idea of whales coming from all over the World in order procreate only to be slaughtered for their monetary value. It did bring me down a bit.
So in this unhappy context we did our performance. It wasn’t very inspiring at all and I didn’t get the same high that I’d normally get while playing music in front of an audience. Also the virus or infection that I had contracted in Sydney our previous port of call, was still affecting me adversely. Looking back and reflecting on that night, it all seems a bit surreal to me now. A psychedelic party full of unhappy people held in a place were whales got chopped up and processed. It isn’t the kind of place I’d associate with a good time.
After the show, in the days following, my mood dipped noticeably. We would be staying in Byron bay for another week and I remember that I got very bored. My health seemed to deteriorate. My lung infection got worse and my immune system didn’t seem to be able to shake it off. But what was also getting worse was my mental state. I felt agitated, restless and my head would fill with intrusive and strange thoughts. The words of our driver seemed prophetic. Was my head being affected by these strange energies that he talked about.
I remember one day, I was sitting in the back garden of the house where we were all staying. All around were the famous cane toads. They would stop in their tracks when they walked into an obstacle and would remain motionless for hours. I knew about their potent psychedelic properties and was aware of the practice of licking the toad’s glands in order to obtain a dose of their psychoactive agent. However I abstained. I thought that in my present state it would not be a good idea to indulge in anything like that. I was quite concerned that I was losing it a bit and didn’t want to exacerbate the situation. I really was only just managing to hold it all together. Also it was slightly less than a year previously that a close friend had died from drug abuse. This shocked and saddened me greatly and made me quite wary of drugs and mind altering substances. Sitting surrounded by all these psycho active cane toads would have been an irresistible indulgence for me a couple of years previously. But now here I was adamantly not wishing to alter my consciousness but rather wishing that my head would go back to ‘normal’ again.
So in this general state I remained for several days. I found myself at the house a lot avoiding company, reading and playing guitar a lot. I recall at this time I was reading a translation of the Bhagavad Gita I had purchased in Sydney and also a book I had recently bought in Byron bay called ‘The Power of Myth’. This book contains the transcripts of an American TV series of the same name which consisted of the renowned expert on World Mythology, Joseph Campbell being interviewed. It was these activities which probably helped me to keep some sort of a grip on my mental health. Anyway.. something would then occur which interrupted this stable but unagreeable state of affairs I found myself in. I decided to go to a party in a house located deep in the woods surrounding the town. Certain things I did at this gathering would help to trigger a mystical experience, a series of visions and some vivid metaphysical insights later on.
So I found myself at a smallish hippy psychedelic traveller gathering in somebody’s house which was in the middle of dense woodland. It was quite an idealic spot, there were bright stars in the sky and it made me think of Endor, the forest planet in the movie Revenge of the Jedi. The crowd gathered were hardcore psychedelic types, friendly and laid back. I recognized some more people that I had met back in the UK at trance parties and it was fun to learn more about them. At some point an attractive young hippy chick handed me a biscuit from a tray containing several of them. I didn’t think anything of it, so naturally I accepted one and happily bit into it. It didn’t taste very good and then it dawned on me that the biscuit was probably laced with psychedelic plant extracts or perhaps some strange fungaloid. I had already swallowed a bite and was feeling a little concerned about possible adverse effects it might have on me, particularly in my current weakened and slightly unstable state of mind. Hard drugs were something that I had carefully avoided for almost a year since the death of my close friend, so I had a feeling that I had broken a strict taboo I had imposed on myself. I wrapped the rest of the mostly uneaten biscuit in a disposable hankerchief and would end up flushing it down the toilet before the party was over. I stayed on a while chatting and drinking red wine. Then it was time to go, the small crowd I had come with all drove back to the house.
Feeling rather tired I wanted to go straight to bed. I went to my room, lay on my back a while, had a think about the nights events and then decided to go wash, brush my teeth and turn in for the night. But the bathroom which was next door to my bedroom was occupied. I laid down on the floor and waited for the person in the bathroom to leave. As I was waiting I could feel a warm sensation come all over my body. I lay there with my eyes closed but as if behind my eyelids I could see pulsating colors and small lights that jiggled about. I was quite drawn into the spectacle at first but then felt a gentle anxiety that all was not right. I remember visualizing quite vividly, that the virus from my lung infection had invaded my brain en mass, and I lay there thinking that it was this which was causing me to see these things. Looking back on it now, it was probably a combination of the illness, the exhaustion, the unpalatable biscuit and the few cups of red wine I had, which was causing the experience. And perhaps also the strange new age ‘energies’ which are thought to be particularly concentrated in and around Byron bay.
Anyway, as I lay there motionless witnessing and contemplating weird things, the nature of the things I could see with my eyes closed changed. The simple patterns and lights gave way to more complex images. I saw people, animals, trees and a lot more besides. At first these images were disjointed and seemed to come in and out of view, mixing randomly then disappearing. Gradually things became more coherent and I slipped into what may best be described as a very vivid lucid dream. Everything seemed as real as ‘normal’ reality. It became so real so as to be no longer dream like. It was as if I had been transported to another place. What I saw was this.. there was snow everywhere, it was very bright with the Sun low in the sky. There were trees here and there and I seemed to be located on the edge of some woodland. All around me were people, perhaps a few dozen. Everyone was dressed in clothing made from furs and animal skins. There was a fire or the remains of one and I could detect the strong smell of burning wood. There were the beating of drums or perhaps just the rhythmic sound of primitive and improvised percussive instruments. It was a kind of ritual, some of the people were moving about in a strange stylized way, others were seated and looking on. I also noticed that those around me were a mixture of oriental looking and also nordic looking people. Some of them had Blonde hair and fair skin and some of the others had black hair and a darker complexion.
Then I suddenly shifted back to ‘normal’ reality. I was back in Byron bay laying on my back. Now I felt I was being given a message. I seemed to be thinking thoughts which were not my own. It was being impressed upon me that somehow the events I saw in the vision were somehow intimately related to my present situation.
A little later I drifted back into another set of images and visions. This time I experienced myself as a small child with my Mother. It was before the time I started school, I must have been about 4 years old. I remember I used to wait for my Mother to wake up, while playing in an upstairs room that was the living room of the house. Then my Mother would carry me down the stairs, and make me something to eat. After this time spent together my Mother would get down to work preparing food to sell for the family business which was downstairs from the upstairs apartments where my family lived. I would go off into the yard and play by myself. But here I was almost a quarter of a century later transported back to my early childhood not merely recalling these memories but actually reliving these experiences and seeing through my own eyes as a 4 year old. It was as real as real can be! It was as if I had been transported back in time, everything was so incredibly vivid and clear. The sights, smells and sounds some of them long forgotten came back to me with a shocking familiarity.
Then things shifted again and I was back in the present, back in this small Byron bay room lying on my back. I was fully aware and thought to myself that I was having a mystical experience. I also thought that I was losing my mind, perhaps never to return. There was a feeling of excitement but also one of apprehension. I could feel my body pulsating now, I imagined that my body was glowing like a hot charcoal. Then I crossed over a little to the infinite but not completely. I was straddled on the borderline between the mundane and the mystical, the temporal and eternal and between micro-cosmic and cosmic. I was not myself yet I was not ‘one the universe’ and in a state of union with God. It was as if the universe was about to enter me but was stuck in the process and here I was at the half way point.
In this state I had a powerful mystical vision and insight that was a great metaphysical truth being communicated to me. I saw in a series of abstract images that the future was caused by the past which is what we normally understand but also that the past was being caused by the future. I saw clearly that past and future were totally immeshed with one another. Everything that would be considered the past was necessary for future events to happen, just as everything that was in the future was necessary in order to construct the past. There was perfect symmetry, the future and past fashioned one another in a perfect and harmonious entanglement.
My mind was directed to think about the two vivid visions that I had slightly earlier. It was revealed to me that the events I had witnessed in the snowy, wooded landscape with the peoples dressed in skins and furs, was something that had happened in the distant past. It was also revealed to me with a powerful impression that somehow those events were a very important and decisive point in the history of the human race. I saw vividly that all that has happened in human history had somehow emanated from that strange mystical gathering that happened so very long ago. Then I saw that the situation and circumstances of the world today, were directly related to what I had seen. The present age and those events that probably happened in prehistoric times were inseparably bonded together. That little mystical gathering in the snow was necessary for and set off the process which led to the construction of the present world. At the same time the existence of the state of the present world had brought those prehistory events into being.
After that I went through the same process with the vision that I had of myself as a child. This time I was seeing the nature of the past and the future in relation to my life. I was shown what is obvious, that my destiny and present situation were caused and set up by all those defining events in my childhood. But then I was shown that my eventual destiny and the ultimate purpose of my life had caused all those events of my childhood to happen in the first place. The future was setting up the conditions of the past necessary for its own realization! The future was causing the past, just as the past was seemingly causing the future. It was a shocking and stunning metaphysical truth that was being intentionally and forcefully projected into my mind. I was being shown an important aspect of the nature of space, time and existence. Even to this day, this insight feels as though it had been seared into my mind. I was in a state of awe and wonder. I contemplated what I had seen and what had been communicated to me.
Gradually I came back to a more normal state of mind. I went to the bathroom next door. Everyone in the house was asleep by now, it was late and I must have been away for some hours. I brushed my teeth and did the necessary final acts for the day and finally went to sleep.
After the mystical encounter that night we would stay on a few more days in Byron bay. I didn’t feel much better and still a little borderline and slightly agitated. Although my mood would also enter into clearer periods. Finally it was time to leave Byron bay and also Australia. We flew over to Japan. While on the plane I remember my mood and state of mind changed noticeably. I suddenly felt clearer, focused and more peaceful, exactly the opposite to what I had been experiencing for the past couple of weeks, especially during the stay in Byron bay. By the time we got to Tokyo’s Narita airport I felt completely transformed and back to my normal self.
After short time later after returning to the UK, I discovered that I no longer had a place to stay. My friend from Texas who had given me a place to stay for the past year or so had been deported. He had apparently not obtained the proper visas for staying in the UK so was staying illegally. One night while driving his girlfriend’s car around town badly he was stopped by the poice and given a one way ticket to the United States. Anyway as a result my circumstances changed and so for a while I slept on friend’s sofas, on various living room floors or sometimes in peoples spare bedrooms.
I remember I was reading the Bhagavad Gita a lot at this time and had 3 different translations in my holdall travel bag. I effectively lived out of my holdall and guitar case. In my semi-homeless state I still found the opportunity to meditate a lot, mainly using my breath as the focus. Around this time during the Spring of 1998 sometime in May I would have another powerful mystical experience.
The Swiss Hillside vision of the Cosmic Tree
This mystical experience was certainly precipitated by circumstances and events that occurred in the few days leading up to it. I happened to be in Brighton, on the South coast of England, staying with a friend. It was a Friday night and there was a party in the house where I was staying. There were several interesting people at the party whose company I found stimulating. I drank a couple of beers but avoided the cannabis that was going round. I didn’t get very much sleep that night because I turned in really late and also because I had to wake up early in the morning, around 6am’ish. I had to make an early start because I had a concert to play on the next day which was a Saturday. This gig was to be at a psychedelic trance party in Zurich, Switzerland, so there was a lot of traveling to do that day.
The long journey to Switzerland started with a bus journey to Brighton train station. Then I took a train to London Victoria, followed by getting the tube to Pinner in periphery of North west London where the musician I would be travelling with lived. A short break and then a taxi to Heathrow airport. From there a plane to Zurich. As the plane approached Zurich there was a lot of turbulence and also lightning. Finally there was a car ride from the airport to the house where we would be staying before and after the gig.
On arriving at the house, I felt that my body and mind were really exhausted but the excitement of being in a foreign country and the enthusiastic hospitality of our hosts, made it hard to relax. After some food there was time for a few hours sleep but I recall my mind was racing, so I only managed to have a bit of a lie down.
Around close to midnight we were driven to the open air site where the party was now in full swing. We were in a large stone quarry located in the hills surrounding Zurich. It was quite surreal as these kind of events can often be. All around things looked like an alien landscape, complete with rocks and boulders everywhere. Also of course there were masses of people, many hundreds, perhaps more than a thousand even. There were fluorescent decorations strewn about everywhere and ultra violet lighting which gave everything a strange luminance. As we set up the music and sound equipment on the small stage where we would be performing, I remember it started to rain just a tiny bit and also there was some lightning. It was a very dramatic and exciting scene. I thought that all the expensive audio equipment was going to get rained on but we continued to press on and finished setting up all the gear. Luckily the rain didn’t really get going very much. And so after a short wait it was time to get on the stage and the performance began.
The shows were always a pleasure to do and the feeling of excitement and adrenaline I felt during them could be intense. I would have a beer before going on, but during the show I would also drink a lot of caffeinated beverages. This psycho-active input combined with the general circumstances and physical exertion from dancing around on stage meant that during these performances I often got really high. This would have been clearly visible in my expression and movements. There is something distinctly spiritual about losing yourself in front of an audience while dancing to rapid and repetitive beats. I would often feel a sort of merging with the audience, and could get into these what might be called borderline mystical states quite easily. This is how I felt that night but it was after the show that the real full blown mystical experience happened.
After coming off the raised platform that served as the stage I felt very very good. People came up to express their appreciation for the show and this reinforced my feeling of well being. I was drenched in sweat and my shirt stuck to my body. As I sat the exertions of the past few days and the just finished live performance were now catching up with me. I started to feel very very tired. Then my mood dipped rather noticeably, from a feeling of exaltation to one of uneasiness. People would still be approaching me saying things in German or Swiss, but I didn’t understand what they were saying. I suddenly felt very agoraphobic and a little agitated. So I got up and wandered off.
I wanted to be alone but there was no chance of getting back to the house until one of the people I came over from the UK with, had finished doing his DJ slot which was quite a few hours later. So I walked along a steep path going up one of the tall hills. Walking a while I put some distance between myself and the crowd below. It felt like something of a relief to be away from the party but then I realized how cold my body had become. My clothes were still damp and this worsened the situation. Not just feeling cold, my body also felt as if every molecule of glucose and all reserves of energy had been used up. I started to shiver and wondered what I was going to do next. It was almost pitch black, however I could see the lights from the party down below which provided the only light. At this point a state of panic set in. Now I really felt totally exhausted. I sat down cross legged and at this point my body was shivering quite violently, almost convulsing. I recall thinking to myself what a disaster this all was. There was a real sense of danger and jeopardy. There was no shouting for help as I had wandered away far from the crowd and there was nobody about in my immediate vicinity. I remember thinking how an air ambulance might have to be called and how embarrassing it would all be. The thought crossed my mind that I might even end up dead. I was in a terrible state, sitting there in my damp clothes and shivering like mad. This went on for a short while, with all sorts of worries going through my head but then things changed. A state of calmness descended upon me and my body became at rest. I seemed to lose sensation of my body and my mind strangely became indifferent to what was happening to me. In retrospect, what happened to me was that I was going into a trance. This was strangely appropriate, as I was at a trance party.
So I sat there, half way up the top of a tall hill, motionless and in a trance. I no longer felt cold but I do remember that insects were crawling all over my skin and body. However I was totally unconcerned and didn’t react to these intrusions. I distinctly recall that I thought about a picture in one of the Bhagavad Gitas, I was reading around this time. It depicted a meditating indian yogi whose meditation was so protracted and intense that the plants around him over time grew all over his body. He seemed to merge with nature. I remember thinking that I was like this yogi.
A little later my thoughts ceased and the visions began. First of all there was a cascade of geometric forms and Islamic’esque patterns. They swirled, danced and pulsated. Gradually these patterns receded more into the background and then I saw an awesome vision of a tree. This tree was so immense it was the size of the universe. It was intricate and vast. It would also change its appearance in a mysterious way. One moment it would seem like an organic tree like the ones we normally see and then it would seem crystal like and semi transparent.
Then I apprehended that this tree was the universe and that everything within the universe was a branch of this cosmic tree. It was given to me to see, that I too was a branch of this cosmic tree. I apprehended also that the tree branched into the core of my being and that I too was like a miniature tree. I was a branch of the cosmic tree but I was also a tree on my own. I was a microcosmic tree that was a branch of this all encompassing cosmic tree. Then I saw the things of the universe, atoms, people, animals, nations, planets and even galaxies and I apprehended that they too were all like trees. And all these things and everything else also branched off and radiated from the cosmic tree, that was also the universe.
The vision came to a peak when I saw that not only was I a smaller tree and a branch of the cosmic tree but also that at the same time the cosmic tree was also me! I contained within me the entire cosmic tree and I was the universe! After this I entered into what might be described as a state of mystical union with the Universe and the Cosmic Tree. I became God...
...After an eternity I returned. It was dawn and the Sun was shining directly onto me. I slowly came to and remembered where I was and the events of the night before. My whole body ached and I felt very stiff all over. I was covered in ants so I had to pick them out and brush them off; they had gotten everywhere even in my ears! I tried to stand but my legs were completely dead. I looked down and could see that the trance party had died down and most of the people had gone home. At this point I could see my travelling companions from the UK walking up the hill towards me. They had been wondering where I had got to. Still feeling a bit weak and my legs very wobbly, we made our way down the hill together. After a short wait we were all driven back to the house. I went straight to bed and had a very very deep sleep. We returned to the UK later the same day. I recall on the flight home I couldn’t stop thinking about the vision and was very introspective.
The two mystical experiences that had occured in April and May of 1998, the visions I had experienced in Byron bay, Australia and the visions of the Cosmic tree I saw in Zurich, Switzerland had a powerful effect on me. I wanted to tell everyone what I had seen, but was frustrated at my inability to articulate in a coherent and meaningful way, the awesome visions that I had experienced. As was something of a habit by now I would rant and be quite forceful in getting those around me to listen to my insights. This alienated a lot of people and I became a bit of a social outcast. I started to find the interests that most people had, utterly mundane and totally uninteresting. In a very short space of time, my life shifted from being somewhere in the vibrant social center, to somewhere else on the lonely outer fringes.
I was involved in the world of psychedelic trance music until the Summer of 1998 when my association with the band Cosmosis came to a naturally conclusion. Towards the end of my stint as a musician I got a little bored with process of performing on stage with my guitar. I remember on many occasions coming off stage after a performance and feeling rather empty inside. There was always a little rush at the start coming onstage and facing a live audience but the novelty factor and stimulation level had progressively diminished over time. The highs and satisfaction I derived from playing music became less and less. I knew my destiny laid elsewhere.
My life re-oriented itself back toward my higher purpose and long term goal to communicate the truth about God to the world at large and main stream society. Also around this time I once again returned to my long time obsession with working out how the brain and human mind worked. But by this interest in things neuroscientific and psychological had started to become integrated with my deep interest in the religious and philosophical. I started to see a lot of meaningful connections between on the one hand, the structure and physiology of the brain and on the other, certain ideas from the world of mysticism and religion. Though I wasn’t quite sure exactly what it was and couldn’t articulate it very well, even to myself; I had a strong intuition that there were very deep relationships between mind, brain, consciousness and God.
There followed the start of a period of solitude, study and reflection which would come to last several years. I become something of a loner. I started to feel a growing sense of mission, and decided that I would dedicate an indefinite amount of time to prepare myself for what I had to do. This period of my life was a sort of incubation period. It was a remaking of myself that lasted around four years. It straddled my late 20s and early 30s. I threw myself totally into my explorations into things mystical and spiritual together with my studies into the brain and mind. So in the final months of 1998 after finishing with the band Cosmosis and playing guitar a whole load I embarked on this new and quite different phase in life.
The early part of this period was lived as something of a total outsider. I didn’t speak to people very much and my days were spent reading and thinking. This was a pattern of behaviour that was already a feature of my life on and off but never to this extent or intensity. I would read in public libraries a lot and also bookshops, mostly located in central London. Most of my time each day would be spent staring at a book or else writing in my notes. I walked everywhere, perhaps spending around 4 hours each day, walking from place to place. Often during my walks I would be thinking up ways to express to other people the ideas in my mind. Sometimes while walking I would chant meditation mantras in my head or else just listen to my portable music player. It was a very simplified and idealistic existence. I was totally driven by my goals and mostly I felt a certain satisfaction with life because I had a strong sense that I was pursuing my true purpose. However, sometimes I felt intolerably lonely and something of a loser. I didn’t have a job or much money and I didn’t have a girlfriend or many other friends either.
It was during one of these periods of melancholy that I experienced one of the most powerful mystical encounters of my life. It was on the Winter Solstice of 1998. During the days leading up to this point my head was in a terrible state. I was feeling very depressed, my mind seemed disorganized and I was having trouble concentrating. I couldn’t think properly and my life seemed to grind to a halt. My thoughts and my dreams became inaccessible to me which deprived me of my only real source of pleasure and meaning in life at that time. My mood spiraled uncontrollably downwards and into oblivion. I felt as if my life had been a total waste. I felt somehow cheated by fate, as if the universe had played a cruel trick on me. It seemed God or the cosmic intelligence had systemically led me toward a certain course in my life, only for me to discover that the path led nowhere. What was this obsession I was gripped by that caused my life to deviate so far from the norm and lead me to such a sorry state?
Winter Solstice Vision of Abraxas and the Cosmic Thread of Life
It was in this state of mind that I decided to demand a sign from the Universe. It was as if I was saying to the Cosmos, ‘show me some proof of the validity of the crazy life I’m leading or else I won’t play your game anymore’. I felt on the point of giving up. I recall during this time my mood would get so bleak that I would get some sort of a fleeting sense of relief by imagining that I was going through the process of suicide and hanging from a rope by my neck. I guess that’s how the process of self annihilation works. You imagine doing yourself in, get a feeling of imagined satisfaction from it and then go on to do it for real. However this would never have been anything I would have actually considered seriously. I could imagine it as I can imagine a lot of things but to actually do it would never have be an option for me. Firstly it would a complete waste but most importantly I would never be able to put my Mother and Father through the ordeal. They having scrapped, toiled and struggled for all the benefits in life that I enjoyed, it would have been so utterly wrong for me to have voluntarily thrown my life away even if I personally didn’t place any value on my life; which can be the prevailing sentiment during times of deep depression.
So I went about one day with the aim of looking for a sign from the Cosmic Intelligence the appearance of which would give me justification for my existence and reassurance that my life path was valid. Setting off from my house, on the morning of the Winter Solstice of 1998, I went for a very long walk hoping to receive a message of some sort. I walked hours and hours all over London looking for a sign. I looked in the sky, at the people on the streets, all over. Perhaps I’d see a massive shooting star, meet some mysterious mystical person with a message for me, or see some other extraordinary sight. But nothing happened. I walked everywhere all over London only stopping for fast-food and cups of coffee and still nothing. In all I walked 9 hours and after this time no sign had appeared, no message had been received. So at around 8pm, in a state of total disillusionment, I went to sit in Marylebone public library. I really needed to rest my tired legs which were feeling a little numb by now. I felt immensely weary but at the same time quite stimulated by all the coffee that I had drunk. I suppose my head was probably already in a somewhat altered state from all the walking and concentration on looking for this sign from the Universe that didn’t appear.
On entering the library I felt cold, tired and empty. I sat down at one of the desks in the upstairs reference section of Marylebone library and stared into space for a while. Then I saw an opened book on the desk next to mine. Looking closer I saw my name in big bold capital letters beneath a very strange picture. I couldn’t believe my eyes and felt sure I was hallucinating, after all I was in a very shakey state. But I looked again and there it was. The book was an encyclopedia of mysticism and the book was open on a page with a picture of an early Gnostic Christian symbol for God which I later discovered was called Abraxas. It was a mans torso with a rooster’s head, carrying a whip and a shield, and two snakes for legs. Below this depiction was my name WAI. And a sentence printed beneath read ‘Gnostic adherents believe that religious belief should be based on experiential self knowledge and not on inherited dogma’.
On seeing this I was filled with an immense and intense internal laughter. It was as if my entire life had been some sort of huge joke and I’d just been supplied with the punch line. This feeling grew into a intense feeling of happiness and warmth. Also it felt powerfully sexual in a strange and magnified kind of way. Then I felt being turned inside out, I lost my sense of the world and my body. Words cannot describe where I was or what I was at this stage. I was something totally outside the realm of space, time and matter. I was infinity and also eternity. Within my being was the totality of all things that are, all things that have been and all things that will ever be. I became God...
...Eventually and after an eternity I started to gradually re-enter physical reality and regain the sense of my body. My sense of time and space returned. Then I started to see a vision. I saw a huge chain of beads on a thread. The thread was endless and the beads seemed infinite. It was an awesome sight writhing and swirling like a dancing snake, but making movements and transforming itself like no physical animal could. This was against a backdrop of intricate geometric patterns. Multi-colored and pulsating, living and breathing somehow. It was like the geometric forms that decorate the inside of Muslim mosques, but the colors were much more intense and with a metallic quality. After a while something was happening to the beads. Each was breaking up and disintegrating.
I could see that each bead was hollow and the surface was like a thin membrane. The surface of each bead was unraveling into a spiral like the rind of a perfectly pealed orange or apple. Inside the unraveling rind were myriad fragments that were contained within each of the beads. Each of these fragments was in turn a bead but much tinier than the original that enclosed it. I saw that all these smaller beads were in turn strung together by the same thread that joined up the larger beads. In this way the larger beads and the smaller beads contained within the them were all joined up by a single continuous thread.
All these beads also danced and swirled about linked together like a string of pearls. My focus was then lead inwards towards these miniature beads and then the process repeated itself again. Now each of these fragments which were beads on a string, in their turn disintegrated. Their surfaces unraveled and a multitude of thousands of tinier beads emerged and again each of these contained beads likewise strung together by a thread that was continuous with the thread that joined up the enclosing beads. This process repeated itself many times. I would see a multitude of beads all strung together by a thread. Each of these beads would unravel to show that they in turn contained another galaxy of tinier beads also linked together like a necklace, and so on.
Eventually something different happened. This time my focus was drawn to a single bead as it started to disintegrate and its skin started to unravel into a rind. I could see that the unraveling was very ordered and produced a long thin strip like an unraveled bandage made of some flexible material with a metallic sheen. I was drawn toward one end of this thin strip and then I could see images. I could hear sounds and I could feel sensations. I saw images of a baby, then images of a small child. I watched and then realized the baby and child was myself at different points in my life. I saw myself as a teenager, witnessed things that happened to me that I can remember today. There were happy moments, stressful moments and also traumatic ones. I literally saw my life flash by before me in a chronological sequence. As I saw myself progressing through my life and getting older, I realized what was happening. As this replay of my life was heading towards my current point in life, I felt an intense yearning to see beyond and know what was going to happen to me in the future. I witnessed some events associated with the time I spent working as a musician earlier that year and then things zoomed ahead towards my present situation. I felt a strong sense of excitement, I thought to myself ‘Please let me see!, please let me see!’. But then the curtain was drawn shut and a veil was lowered. I regained my senses and was back in reality again.
It felt like those occasions when sometimes we experience a lucid dream and become fully conscious of ourselves while still dreaming. Usually when I start to lucid dream, I get so excited by what is happening to me and by all the things that I would like to do within the lucid dream that this causes me to wake up. And once I awaken from the dream it is impossible to return.
Once again I was sitting in a public library in London, and one of the librarians was walking around telling everybody that the library was about to close. I slowly got up and made my way to the exit. As I walked out of the building into Marylebone road, everything seemed to have a glowing aura around it. The buildings, the cars, the people. Life felt epic and awesome. Everything felt special and significant. Life was mythological and magic. A little earlier I was feeling exhausted and empty, now I felt invigorated and life became filled with meaning. As I walked home I remember I just couldn’t stop smiling. I couldn’t help thinking about the strange vision and the mysterious grotesque looking picture that contained my name in bold capital letters.
Later on I was able to figure out that what I saw was a vision giving me an insight into the nature of God and the relationship that individuals, including human beings, have in relation to God. I was shown the passage of the transmigration of the indivisible and undivided soul of the one ultimate God weaving through all the life forms of the Universe, sequentially one life at a time, one day at at a time and one moment at a time. The beads in the vision were all the various life forms that have lived or will ever live in the Universe. And the single thread which passed through all the beads was the life journey of the one God spanning the lifetimes of all the creatures existing within one Cosmic Cycle containing the beginning and end of a Universe. The one God that was me, everybody and everything else. The initial string of beads that I saw in the vision were the life times of whole universes strung out in a row, each bead corresponding to an entire Universe from beginning to end linked together in a never ending cycle of creation, destruction and rebirth.
This vision and experience so invigorated me, it seemed I had been given a vital piece of a large jig saw puzzle which made the other pieces that I already had fall into place. A lot of things which were opaque to me now made sense. Earlier that dayI was feeling utterly alone, but now I felt that the entire universe was with me. I was feeling that my life had totally lost its meaning but now my sense of mission had been restored. The days following this experience were filled with a wonderful afterglow. The grotesque image of the roosters head with the man’s torso with snakes for legs would keep popping back into my mind.